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Lehighton budget passes

Published December 28. 2011 05:02PM

Lehighton Borough Council has adopted its 2012 budget, adding a two-mill tax increase to the general fund.

The two mills will be deposited into a separate fund to be utilized for expansion of the Lehighton fire station.

The new tax rate will be 6.5 mills, up from 4.5 mills.

Nicole Beckett, borough manager, said the purpose of the two mills is to match $1.75 million the borough is receiving from a state grant to be used for the fire company project.

"The borough of Lehighton will not be funding the full construction project," Beckett told the council.

On a related note, the council approved the hiring of an architect, engineer, and construction manager for the project.

The project involves adding additional bays to connect the Lehigh Fire Company No. 1 building with the Engine Company 2 building. Most of the Engine Company building is utilized by the Lehighton Police Department except for a bay which houses apparatus.

Houses between the two stations, which have been purchased by Lehigh Fire Company No. 1 and are being turned over to the borough, will be razed for the project.

The two-mill increase means a house assessed at $68,150 will pay $442.98 per year, versus $306.68 at the 4.5 mill rate.

A house assessed at $34,450 will see only a $68.90 tax hike.

The borough also has a six-mill, occupation tax.

The general fund is balanced at $3,944,996.98.

The fire station construction fund is projected to be balanced at $148,416.25 the first year.

The sewer fund project has income and expenses totaling $6,699,253.59.

The budget for the light and power department is balanced at $10,636,144.03.

The highway aid fund budget is $243,400.

In one other business, the council named borough secretary Brenda Koons to serve as the borough's Emergency Management Agency coordinator.

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